Interesting stats on the state of Social Networking sites.
For the second straight month both Facebook and Myspace have not seen growth in user numbers. For January, Myspace had 2.93m users (down 2.5% on December) and Facebook had 2.51m (up 0.7%). The category as a whole (which includes Bebo, Blogger etc) was flat at just under 6.5m.
In January, Bebo lost just under 7% of its audience, with 700,000 unique users (down from 750,000). It is interesting to note that in the past 12 months Bebo has seen modest growth at best, adding 198,000 users
In terms of engagement between Facebook and myspace the two are reasonably on par. Myspace users spend 1 hour 29 mins on the site and visit on average 8.84 times; Facebook users spend 1 hour 12 minutes on the site and visit on average 7.48.
Whilst these social networks are all the rage, it's important to actually look at the data behind them. And the data tells a pretty clear story.
Usage is flat. Myspace has essentially remained stagnant in UBs for 7 months despite adding a heap of new channels. Facebook has gone from extreme growth to none in a very short amount of time. Bebo hasn't made a splash despite local operations and an alliance with Yahoo!
Engagement is stagnant. Users are not spending increasing time on these properties ... I think the people behind them need to try a little harder to keep these users engaged and on board ...
This phenomenon is also happening in the US ... see here (http://creativecapital.wordpress.com/category/its-official-us-social-networking-sites-see-slow-down/) that shows that myspace's issues here may just be the start (in the US it is experiencing a decline in engagement).